Summer is tough around here, as far as motivating my kids goes. All they want to do is sit around and watch T.V., goof around on the computer or in Scout’s case, spend hours upon hours playing games on his iPod. As any parent knows, numbing your brain with countless hours of electronics is not ideal for the growing mind.
At least with V, she has peeps in the neighborhood and they often come calling. Then she’ll get off her duff and go hang with them outside at the park, or at least out in their various yards. Or she’ll go biking over to their house. With Scout, that’s a bit more challenging. Not being as outgoing as many other kids, even though thankfully he does have friends that he hangs with here and there, kids aren’t exactly pounding on his door. He recently made a connection with a kid in his afternoon park program who actually lives right up the street and did play with him one afternoon, but that’s been it so far. I often wonder, is it still his age? Or is it just because of the Asperger’s thing? I honestly can’t remember how social V was at that age. I know she’s always had a ton of friends, but just can’t recall how much she reached out to others back then, or vise versa.
For whatever reason, this morning I woke up motivated. After cleaning up the kitchen I boiled some eggs to have around and prepared some spaghetti sauce that the fam can eat for dinner later since I’ll be at work. (yes, just call me Susie Homemaker.) Wanting to keep Scout out of the Electronic Quagmire I suggested we take our dog Digby for a walk. Typically that is V’s job, but Scout likes to be in control of the dog (imagine that!) and hold the leash as we go…I figured I had better luck of getting him to willingly go that way than to just say we humans needed to get out of the house and get some exercise.
I love walking with Scout. We always have nice conversation (although I do have to endure many America’s Home Videos recaps) and he always stops and picks weedy flowers for me to make into a bouquet. No matter what the boy is thinking or talking about, he will always notice a random flower and stop to get it for me. Needless to say, it makes my heart sing.
As typical with the dog, every few steps he wanted to stop and lift his leg on something to claim his territory…a fire hydrant, a mailbox pole, a clump of weeds. After about 5 lifts in a row Scout says, “Geesh, Digby, you’re like the Genghis Kahn of dogs, wanting to take over the doggie world!” Ha! I don’t know what’s funnier….Scout’s clever quip or the thought of our wimpy little Cavachon who wouldn’t know what to do with a baby rabbit being a ruthless warrior.
Upon arriving home from our walk I was greeted by our sweet neighbors Ron and Eileen. They are like surrogate grandparents to the kids. Ron asked if Scout was busy (!) and offered to pay him money to pick up sticks all over his yard that got blown around after a storm. Love that! So that’s where Scout is now, I’m hoping he’s doing his job and not complaining after a bucket-full. That’s definitely a good way to keep him busy! I’d love it if he could think of it as helping our lovely neighbors, but knowing him he’s more excited about the cold, hard cash.
Then this afternoon, the park program. I guess I’m getting him out of the house a lot today, after all. Mission accomplished, Good Mommy. At least for today.